A flying passenger filmed the touching moment a pilot gave an impassioned statement on his final trip after 32 years with American Airlines.
Last week, before his retirement flight to Chicago took off, pilot Jeff Fell stepped at the front of the cabin to say his final farewell.
Fell greeted passengers on board, introduced himself, advised them of the flight time and weather, and then recognized that giving the update from outside the cockpit was unusual.
“I normally don’t stand up in front of everybody like this, I usually just stay in the cockpit and talk on the PA. If I get a little emotional please forgive me for that,” he said.
With passengers still unaware of what he wanted to say, Jeff pointed out a group of “very important people” to him sitting at the back of the plane.
“They’re the majority of my family who have come along with me on my retirement flight,” Fell said.
Jeff Fell’s voice wavered with emotion while the passengers applauded him.
“They’re on-board with me on my retirement flight after 32 years with American,” he said.
He continued, fighting back tears: “Thank you all for coming along with me tonight and celebrating this very memorable time in my life. I love all of you.
With another round of applause from his passengers, Fell added:
“I didn’t want to get emotional but goodness gracious.”
“Finally for my wonderful wife Julie who has been at my side for the majority of my 32 years at American. She has been the rock, the solid rock in the foundation in our lives and our marriage. Her faith in the Lord, wisdom, strength and love has guided our marriage and family throughout these years. I love you and look forward to the next chapter in our lives. And welcome aboard everybody.”
Watch the video below: